s How to Install a Beadboard Paneled Ceiling - The Kim Six Fix
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How to Install a Beadboard Paneled Ceiling

How to Install Beadboard Ceiling
On my summer trip to my mom’s house, one of the project she asked me to work on was paneling her bathroom ceiling.  She had seen my powder room ceiling and decided she wanted something similar.

My mom actually has a beautiful bathroom (check out that oval window!), but the ceiling was pretty bland:
Ceiling before
The rest of the room has very traditional features like marble counters and a chrome cross handled faucet, so beadboard was completely appropriate:Red bathroom with marble

Her bathroom was a little different because it was larger than mine and required more than a single beadboard panel. (She wanted the lines to run parallel to the short sides of the room, not along the long walls like mine did.)
Before and after
Because of this, we had to use 2 panels that we cut down, and be careful to align the seams in order to disguise the fact it was multiple panels, but we were very successful.  Another difference was that for my bathroom ceiling I used the larger plank-like panels, and she wanted the smaller more traditional double bead wainscot panels.

She is super pleased with the project and so am I, I think her choices were spot on:Red white bathroom
If you want to duplicate this project (which is actually quite easy, we did the entire thing in less than 2 days and for about $100 in supplies) here are the details:


Measure the ceiling and locate the ceiling joists.  You can use a stud finder or just drill holes in the drywall until you hit resistance.
Marking ceiling joists


Cut down the beadboard (including cut outs for lights and vents).  We used a jig saw and it worked great.
Cutting down beadboard
The beadboard can actually be quite a bit smaller (a few inches on each side) than the ceiling since you will be masking the edges with trim board:
Beadboard on ceiling
We also had to map out and cut out a hole for the can light.  Because you have wiggle room on the edges of the board, this is actually easier than you would think:
Hole for ceiling light


Install beadboard.  We used a pneumatic nailer which made quick work of it.

Here is what the ceiling looked like with only the beadboard installed:
Beadboard sheet on ceiling


Measure, cut, paint and install border boards.  Based on the size of this room we decided on 1 x 5 boards. Smaller rooms would require narrower boards to stay to scale.  We also mitered the corners, but you could have square butt joints if you don’t have a miter saw.
Adding ceiling trim boards

STEP 5: 

Add trim boards.   Unlike my ceiling, where I used quarter round for all the finished edges, my mom preferred the look of cove molding so we used that instead.  Where the border met the wall we added quarter round:
Decorative ceiling trim
We decided to pre-paint the boards before install, just to save a step.  You will have to go over the entire ceiling with another coat of paint after caulking but it is a lot easier to get the initial coats on the boards before they are over your head:
Painting trim boards


Caulk, fill nail holes and paint:
Beadboard ceiling trim boards
And the big final reveal:
Red bathroom with beadboard ceiling

Isn’t it beautiful? Installing ceiling

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  1. We are planning to do something similar. However, we will be using exterior grade, structural, shiplap siding rather than the thinner panels which are purely decorative.
    Why? We have a two storey house with bouncy floors. The 2nd storey floor was framed with wooden I-beams set 20" apart rather than floor joists set 16" apart. I-beams were new to residential construction when our house was built and the city allowed the builder to use plywood flooring on the 2nd storey which is just a little too thin. This causes the floor to bounce slightly when walking between the joists. Not a structural problem but certainly annoying.
    My structural engineer and I came up with a solution that is both functional and decorative. We are going to remove all of the drywall on the lst floor ceiling which has a popcorn texture. Then we are going to glue and screw the shiplap siding panels between the I-Beams to strengthen the floor from underneath. Then we are going to box in the I-Beams.
    Three problems solved: 1) Get rid of popcorn ceilings. 2. Get rid of bouncy floor. 3) Add character and "raise" our ceilings on the 1st floor by 12". We could simply add plywood to the 2nd storey but it would not get rid of the popcorn ceiling nor would it raise the ceiling.

  2. what size nails did you use in your pneumatic nailer?


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